A perplexing problem of plastic in Bird Island’s Sooty Tern colony

There can be few who are unaware of the ubiquitous problems faced by the world’s oceans as more and more tonnes of plastic contaminants enter them. A wide variety of plastic bottles, sheeting, fishing waste (buoys, line, fish aggregating devices [see my blog of 13 June 2017]) polystyrene packaging, flip-flops and other shoes, wash up … More A perplexing problem of plastic in Bird Island’s Sooty Tern colony

Happy birthday!

Welcome to Bird Island! This morning, 19 June, we found our first Sooty Tern chicks in the colony – three of them among the several hundreds of thousand eggs still to hatch. Sooty Terns incubate their eggs for 28 days, meaning that these eggs must have been laid on 22 May. We had been told … More Happy birthday!

The migration of Bird Island’s Sooty Terns revealed

On Bird Island, and in other colonies throughout Seychelles, Sooty Terns breed seasonally during the south-east trade wind, roughly April to October. Outside this time, the millions of birds involved disappear from Seychelles waters and, apart from five recoveries of ringed birds (3 in Sri Lanka/southern India and one each in northern Australia and at … More The migration of Bird Island’s Sooty Terns revealed

“Orange Omelettes and Dusky Wanderers” gets a lift off

    On Saturday 4 November my book “Orange Omelettes and Dusky Wanderers” was launched in my local town, Haslemere. Haslemere Bookshop hosted an afternoon brief talk and signing. At the well-attended event I explained the background to my studies of Sooty Terns in Seychelles, initiated through concern over the excessive harvesting of their eggs … More “Orange Omelettes and Dusky Wanderers” gets a lift off

A BBC Natural History Unit first for Sooty Terns

The Sooty Tern is the world’s most numerous tropical seabird. Although it has been the subject of several major studies, two aspects of its life render investigation difficult. First, it generally breeds on remote tropical islands where access is often difficult. Second, it spends its entire life outside the breeding season at sea, living an … More A BBC Natural History Unit first for Sooty Terns

Sooty Terns have a successful year on Cousine Island

On 11 July 2017 Christine and I were able to revisit Cousine Island, a small private island nature reserve off the western coast of Praslin. Like most Seychelles’ islands, its native forest was removed in the late 19th or early 20th century in order to make way for coconut cultivation. At that stage Sooty Terns … More Sooty Terns have a successful year on Cousine Island